Killer Confesses To Crime After Which Field Is Searched

Local and federal authorities searched a Texas field north of Austin connected to Raul Meza Jr. on Wednesday.

Local and federal authorities searched a Texas field north of Austin this week in connection with a convicted murderer who allegedly confessed to two killings in May and might be linked to other unsolved homicides dating back decades, authorities said.

The Austin and Pflugerville police departments and the FBI were conducting what an Austin police spokesperson described in a statement as a follow-up investigation related to the “current” Raul Meza Jr. case.

The search was carried out at a field off Farm-to-Market Road 1825 in an area NBC affiliate KXAN reported is roughly 15 miles north of downtown Austin.

The spokesperson said the investigation is ongoing, and no other details were available.

Meza is being held at the Travis County Correctional Complex on two murder charges — in the stabbing of Jesse Fraga, 80, in May and the killing of Gloria Lofton, 66, in 2019.

Meza served 11 years in prison for the 1982 sexual assault and murder of 8-year-old Kendra Page.

He was arrested May 29 in the fatal stabbing of Fraga, an ex-probation officer whom authorities have described as his roommate. Fraga was found dead in a closet at his home nine days earlier.

After authorities launched a manhunt for Meza, he called an Austin hotline and told a homicide detective, “My name is Raul Meza, and I think you’re looking for me,” according to an arrest affidavit.

During the phone call, Meza allegedly confessed to Fraga’s fatal stabbing and Lofton’s killing, the affidavit says. Lofton’s cause and manner of death had initially been listed as “undetermined,” but after the alleged confession, authorities linked DNA found at the scene to Meza and said she died of strangulation, according to the affidavit.

Austin police launched an administrative review into how the 2019 case was handled to determine whether there were “potential investigative lapses,” as the police department previously described it.

A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of the probe.

When Meza was arrested in May, authorities found him with zip ties, duct tape, a flashlight and a .22 caliber pistol.

Meza allegedly admitted to planning more killings, officials said at the time, and investigators were looking into links between him and as many as 10 unsolved homicides dating to the 1990s.

Lawyers for Meza did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

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